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Old 11-17-2008, 06:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 25

I have the opportunity to acquire a boat with a yanmar 15 2QM15 built between 77 and 80. This motor hasnt been run in two years. What would be the best way to check it out and see if will run? I assume the fuel will need to be gotten rid of some how? I am new to diesels.


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Old 11-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #2
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Simply change the fuel and the fuel and oil filters, change the lube oil and start the engine. If it runs ok then you are in business. Check for smoke. The exhaust, when the engine is warmed up, should not smoke, i.e. neither black nor white smoke. Then you do a full service, changing the cooling water and anbti-freeze, change the annodes and be happy that you got a good deal.

For a more professional aproach, do a compression test and bench test the fuel pumps.

Diesels are simple beasts but once you get to know them you will love them

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Old 11-17-2008, 10:27 PM   #3
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Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
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If you diesel tank(s) weren't full to the brim (quite unlikely and unsafe anyway not to have a bit of ullage), over that time you would expect a bit of water condensation in the tanks. Since the diesel will want to "float" on top, the water with any bit of jostle (or none at all) will end up in the bottom of the tanks where your fuel pick up is. If the fuel doesn't have an additive with a bio-growth inhibitor, you're likely to have a little (or lot) of gunk growing down there, too. The boat may have a fuel scrubber in place (unlikely) or have a method where you can cycle the fuel through the filters w/o going through the engine (maybe...check the valve settings between the tanks and the engine and look for an "extra" fuel pump along the way). If you have such a system, you can cycle your fuel through the filters or scrubber before trying to start the engine.

If you have no way to scrub the fuel, just do be prepared for your fuel filters to clog and need a few replacements as you get going. Have some spares on hand--or consider investing in a centrifugal fuel/water separator to be installed in the lines after the tanks and before your fuel filters. With such a system, you can bleed the water from the lines and save quite a bit on replacing clogged fuel filters.

Best of luck to you

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Old 11-18-2008, 02:01 AM   #4
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Some info on diesel fuel (fungus contamination, shelf life) from BP is entered in the Cruiser's Dictionary WIKI, here Cruisers Dictionary, C-D

scroll down to "Diesel".

When we wound up leaving sv Watermelon in a marina in Australia for more than a year, we figured that the diesel in the tank might have been a bit grotty, and the easiest way to check it out was to pump out from the bottom of the fuel tank a few gallons of diesel into a relatively transparent container. We let it sit, and found that at the bottom of the container was water and gunk. We wound up emptying the tank into containers, siphoning out the stuff that settled, and then filtering the relatively clean diesel back into the tank. Fuel filters are expensive when a cheaper alternative costs little more than time, of which we had plenty.

Shelf life for diesel is only about 12 months, so you probably should put clean diesel into the tank before firing up the engine.

Do you have a diesel mechanic friend? Might be nice for a mechanic to look at the engine.
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 11-18-2008, 03:36 PM   #5
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Thanks all!

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